Reap the wellbeing benefits of green spaces this spring

Blog by Rachael Edwards

Community Champions Project Manager & Volunteer Coordinator

As the crocuses and daffodils begin to bloom and the days grow longer, exploring Merton’s parks and green spaces is a great way to escape your flat or home office and reap the many health benefits of nature. To me, a green space is an oasis of calm amidst a hectic city life and Merton contains some of the most diverse and beautiful places in London. Whether you’re looking for a long ramble, a place to kick a football around, a beautiful picnic spot, or somewhere quiet to read and reflect, there is a green space for you!

Check out Merton Council’s website to find a green space near you. This website will also tell you all the amenities each green space offers so you can plan your day with confidence.

What are the benefits of spending time in nature?

Spending time in nature has been linked to numerous mental and physical wellbeing benefits. These include decreased blood pressure, reduced headaches, faster healing, reduced stress and anxiety, improved mood, improved productivity, improved self-esteem, and improved overall wellbeing. Green spaces also offer a relaxing environment to spend time with friends and family, meet new people, and connect with your community. For some, green spaces also offer a place of spiritual enrichment

The benefits of nature are well recognized by healthcare professionals, and doctors are even prescribing time in nature through what are called Green Prescriptions (check out the NHS forest project to learn more).

So next time you’re going for a run, planning a gathering, or looking for somewhere new to spend time with your kids, take it outside!